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The best way to be prepared for a wildfire is to always be ready for an emergency evacuation.

Did you know that evacuation may be the only way to protect your family in a wildfire?  Know where to go and what to bring with you.  You should plan several
escape routes in case roads are blocked by a wildfire.  Below is information I found easily by going online.  Hope this checklist will help you and your family to be safe in a wildfire disaster!

Create a 30-footsafety zone around the house.

  • Remove vines from the walls of the house.
  • Move shrubs and other landscaping away from the
    side of the house.
  • Prune branches and shrubs within 15 feet of
    chimneys and stove pipes.
  • Remove tree limbs within 15 feet of the ground.
  • Thin a 15-foot space between tree crowns.
  • Replace highly flammable vegetation such as
    pine, eucalyptus, junipers and fir trees with lower growing, less flammable
    species.  Check with your local fire
    department or garden store for suggestions.
  • Replace vegetation that has living or dead
    branches from the ground-level up (these act as ladder fuels for the
    approaching fire).
  • Cut the lawn often keeping the grass at a
    maximum of 2 inches.  Watch grass and
    other vegetation near the driveway, a source of ignition from automobile
    exhaust systems.
  • Clear the area of leaves, brush, evergreen
    cones, dead limbs and fallen trees.

Remove debris from under sun decks and porches.

Any porch, balcony or overhang with exposed space underneath is fuel for an approaching fire.  Overhangs ignite
easily by flying embers and by the heat and fire that get trapped underneath.  If vegetation is allowed to
grow underneath or if the space is used for storage, the hazard is increased significantly.  Clear leaves, trash and
other combustible materials away from underneath sun decks and porches.  Extend ½-inch mesh screen from all overhangs
down to the ground.  Enclose wooden stilts with non-combustible material such as concrete, brick, rock, stucco or
metal.  Use non-combustible patio furniture and covers.  If you’re planning a porch or sun deck, use non-combustible or fire-resistant materials.  If possible, build the structure to the ground so that there is no space underneath.

Cover house vents with wire mesh.

Anyattic vent, soffit vent, louver or other opening can allow embers and flaming
debris to enter a home and ignite it.  Cover all openings with ¼-inch or smaller corrosion-resistant wire mesh.  If you’re designing louvers, place them in
the vertical wall rather than the soffit of the overhang.

Use fire-resistant siding.

Use fire-resistant materials in the siding of your home, such as stucco, metal, brick, cement shingles, concrete and rock.
You can treat wood siding with UL-approved fire retardant chemicals, but the treatment and protection are not permanent.

Choose safety glass for windows and sliding glass doors.

Windows allow radiated heat to pass through and ignite combustible materials inside.  The larger the pane of glass, the more vulnerable it is to fire.  Dual-
or triple-pane thermal glass, and fire-resistant shutters or drapes, help reduce the wildfire risk.  You can also install non-combustible awnings to shield windows and use shatter-resistant
glazing such as tempered or wireglass.

Prepare for water storage; develop an external water supply such as a small pond, well or pool.

Other safety measures to consider at the time of construction or remodeling.

  • Use fire-resistant materials when building,
    renovating, or retrofitting structures.
  • Use non-combustible materials for the roof.  Embers and flaming debris can travel great
    distances, land on your roof and start a new fire.

Before the Fire Approaches Your House

  • Remove Combustibles.  Clear items that will burn from around the
    house, including wood piles, lawn furniture, barbecue grills, tarp coverings,
    etc.  Move them outside of your
    defensible space.
  • Shut Off Gas.  Shut off any natural gas, propane or fuel oil supplies at the source.
  • Water.  Connect garden hoses.  Fill any
    pools, hot tubs, garbage cans, tubs or other large containers with water.
  • Ladder.  Place a ladder against the house in clear view.
  • Car.  Back your car into the driveway and roll up the windows.
  • Garage Doors.   Disconnect any automatic garage door openers so that doors can still be
    opened by hand if the power goes out.  Close all garage doors.
  • Valuables.  Place valuable papers, mementos and anything “you can’t live without”
    inside the car in the garage, ready for quick departure.  Any pets still with you should also be put in
    the car.

Preparing to Leave

  • Lights. Turn on outside lights and leave a light on in every room to make the
    house more visible in heavy smoke.
  • Don’t Lock Up.   Leave doors and windows closed but unlocked.  It may be necessary for firefighters to gain
    quick entry into your home to fight fire.
    The entire area will be isolated and patrolled by sheriff’s deputies or

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